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The Value of a Good Friend

October 28, 2010

There is nothing quite like spending time with a good friend.  Somehow that time spent can place your two feet back on the ground and your head out of the clouds.  It seems that conversations had, get right down to the ‘nitty-gritty’ , no time wasted on the trite.

I met one of my very good friends for coffee this morning.  We tend to meet when one or the other of us has something on our minds. Sometimes we will go months without seeing one another.   Today it seemed we both had things on our mind.  I won’t speak to my friend’s thoughts but I will to some of my own.

I was part of an artist’s Studio Tour a few weekends back and was still processing that weekend.  I was telling my friend how much fun I had seeing all of the people and that the turnout was very good, approximately 200.  We were talking about the fact that, the fun aside, making sales and marketing of larger works was becoming increasingly difficult.  I had noticed that many people were supporting me through purchasing art cards, laminarts, prints and smaller paintings but that the sales of larger pieces was down quite a lot from past years.  This fact had begun to mess with my brain.

I have come to realize that I am a person that begins to procrastinate about work when I become surrounded by paintings.  When I have a sale and sell pieces, making ‘room’ for more paintings, I am inspired to fill those vacancies with new works.  Since that show I have done just that….procrastinated.   I fill my days with teaching and ‘organizing’ but not with what I love to do the most, painting.

I was telling my friend this and discussing with her the new trend and urgency to get one’s presence on the net.  The consensus seems to be that if you are not on the net, on Facebook, blogging, on twitter, are writing ebooks  and have a website, there is no hope for you to ‘make it’ as an artist or in many other vocations.  I personally have bucked the on-line experience because I would rather be spending my time painting then staring at a screen.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some time spent in front of the screen.   Even though I am not a writer I truly enjoy blogging, for instance.

I have spent the last week or so agonizing over the fact that I feel like I am being directed/forced into online marketing and exposure just to be able to justify what I do for a living,  just to earn a living.  I almost feel as though I am betraying my art form or at the very least myself.  How much of themselves must a person ‘give away’ or how far do they have to ‘give in’ in order to make a living?  I plainly see that the internet seems to be the new department store, gallery and bookstore but I wonder at what cost.

Back to coffee with a friend.  After a lengthy discussion the bill was brought and accompanying it were two candies and two cards.  Written on one card was “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.”  Jesse Jackson and on the other card,  “HE WHO TRIMS HIMSELF TO SUIT EVERYONE WILL SOON WHITTLE HIMSELF AWAY.”  Raymond Hull……Pretty much says it all.

My thanks goes to Raymond Hull.

 

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